The Senor and I head out for Lake Patzcuaro this morning following the advice of our desk clerk that you needed to take a bus to Patzcuaro. She was wrong. We flagged a cab right outside our hotel, said bus station and that we were headed to Patzcuaro. Taxi driver said he would take us to Patzcuaro for $300 pesos and it would be ” mucho rapido”. All this was done in Spanish as we have yet to find an English speaking person in Uruapan. Patzcuaro is about an hours drive out of Uruapan through beautiful countryside of avocado trees and pine trees. We brought our sweat jackets as it about 7,000 ft elevation but we never needed them. We arrived at the beautiful and ancient Zocolo in Patzcuaro and wondered why
the hell we didn’t by pass Uruapan and go straight to a hotel in Patzcuaro and just take a day trip back to see the National Park. We have not enjoyed Uraupan, we have yet to see a restaurant or a bar, just little places similar to the fondas at the Mercado, most with no place to sit or at best a hard bench.
Patzcuaro is an ancient but beautiful city with a lovely square zocolo surrounded on all 4 sides with shops, small restaurants and hotels. Also many side walk booths displaying a huge variety of crafts. As we arrived hungry we found a nice restaurant for breakfast and then set out to explore the area. the streets and sidewalks are the original cobblestones from the 15th century and of course make walking a challenge for a klutz like me. I tripped on a hole full of water and went sprawling, skinned both my knees, cut my hand and my lip, and cracked a finger nail, but didn’t break my glasses or my camera. Since over the years I’ve come up with a couple of “mersa” type infections and with an artificial joint one has to be careful to avoid infections so the Senor bought peroxide and we cleaned everything well. At least no broken bones. It wasn’t the last time I tripped that day, but I hung on pretty tight to the more sure footed Senor the rest of the day.
Just off the square we wandered into what only could be called and old world bazaar that went on for blocks and periodically branched off on to side alleys. I’m sure you could wander for hours and never see it all. Absolutely huge, with food, clothing house wares, beauty products and of course bakery items. Back at the square I located a hotel we utilize on our next trip to Patzcuaro Hotel Parroquia.
We then took a taxi to “La lancha” about 2 miles across town to catch the launch to the island of Janitizo in the middle of Lake Patzcuaro. My next trip there I will know more about it’s history as there is no literature in English to be found. At the top of this hill island is an enormous statue of someone and it’s embarrassing not to know who it was of. But like lemmings we followed the crowd off the boat and headed up the stairs to the town. No roads, no sidewalks just rough cobble stone stairs clear to the top. The stairs are never more than 10 feet in width and 4 feet in other places with open sided shops and restaurants on both sides all hawking an interesting variety of wares and foods. At the top it is flat with restaurants and bars and a children’s play ground and stairs to the monument.
I climbed the stairs so the Senor could take my picture at the monument, but then I had to have him come rescue me as the stairs were steep with no railing.
On our decent down we picked up a couple of trinkets and gifts, then stopped to eat a restaurant so that I could get some of the little tiny crunchy fish they were selling every where. Of course it was served with sides of rice, beets, lettuce, tomato and cucumber. I couldn’t even finish all the crunchy little fish which was too bad as they were very tasty.
The fishermen in this lake fish with large dip nets and I’m quite sure the little crunchy fish come from the lake. The lake appears to be fairly shallow and at the boat launch area it is full of some type of water lily which appears to be trying to take over one end of the lake. The lake is quite large with several villages around it. We consider this our “recon” trip and plan to return next year as we saw a whole street of woodworking and furniture shops we didn’t have time to take in and have learned of an interesting guided tour of several of the villages around the lake where each village specializes in a different craft or skill. I obviously failed to do adequate home work before this trip next year I will be more knowledgeable. We return home to Zihuatanejo in the morning and are looking forward to our return. Signing off KO